Rev. Dr. Curtis Deterding, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Myers, FL joins host Rev. Brady Finnern to study Ecclesiastes 7:1-13.
Solomon was a realist. He didn’t try to make it sound like everything was perfect, but proclaims our need to see the real brokenness of the world (mourning, sorrow, and death) in order to fully understand the need of the cross and a new heart. Laughter and flattery might help for a short time, but he reminds us that it is the LORD and His Word that sustains us and gives us hope. “Lord God, fill us with the wisdom from Solomon so that we consider Your works. By Your Holy Spirit, help us to filter this life by the lens of Christ’s death so that we live and speak Your Words trusting in You. In Christ, Amen”
Thy Strong Word reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is hosted by Rev. Brady Finnern, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Sartell, MN, and graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.
The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly
7 A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of the fools;
this also is vanity.[a]
7 Surely oppression drives the wise into madness,
and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart[b] of fools.
10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.
12 For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
13 Consider the work of God:
who can make straight what he has made crooked?
- Ecclesiastes 7:6 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
- Ecclesiastes 7:9 Hebrew in the bosom
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org